Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My New Roots: the perfect garden season cookbook

We are in no way, shape or form a vegetarian family. In fact, being a family with 3 growing boys and a big and tall dad and living on a beef ranch, we are pretty much the farthest thing from being vegetarian. Meat is pretty much an essential for every dinner time meal for the approval of the men in this house. That being said, we also currently have a very abundant summer time garden that is putting out more produce than possible to suffice as just an occasional side dish or salad. These farm fresh veggies and greens need to be incorporated into as many meals as I can- out of necessity and to give my family the most nutritious diet I can provide. 

  My New Roots by Sarah Britton could not have gotten into my hands at a better time, right before the peak of the kitchen garden season here in Southern Oregon. It has been so empowering to skim they the recipes and realize how many of the vegetables and ingredients I have on hand, or rather growing in my garden right now! No running to the store to hope to find the veggies needed for one of Sarah's inventive dishes. All I need to do is walk out to my overflowing garden beds and harvest my ingredients right before preparing the meal. There are few things that make me feel more capable and self reliant than growing food and then being able to turn around and turn it into a delicious, even gourmet meal for my family and friends.

   My New Roots is an absolutely gorgeous book full of innovative vegetarian recipes that are even more enhanced by the entrancing photos of said recipes. I enjoyed reading the introduction where Sarah explains how as a designer she became enamored with food for its artistic traits which started her blog and later led to this beautiful cookbook. Sarah explains how she chose to divide up the cookbook into seasons, which I love, and the benefits of eating in season. She goes on to share some of her "essential techniques" that I found to be very helpful knowledge in the kitchen.

The first season in the cookbook is Spring- which is then further broken up into categories of breakfast, small plate dishes, main dishes and desserts. The Carrot Rhubarb muffins look like a decadent breakfast treat. I have made a strawberry chai seed jam before that I loved. I would be curious to try out Sarah's recipe and see if it elevates this sweet, yet healthy spread even more. From the small plates, I am intrigued by Sarah's "life changing bread" recipe that she is apparently pretty famous for on her blog. And I may just have to run quickly and use up the last of my fresh, spring Oregon strawberries for her strawberry chamomile no-churn frozen yogurt!

Having a large summer garden full of produce that ripens each in their own time table, I appreciate that Sarah breaks up the Summer section into early and late summer. The rooibos ginger sun tea sounds like the most refreshing summer staple drink ever. Another amazing drink recipe is the "real deal ginger ale". I love ginger ale and have been wanting to try my hand at perfecting a homemade version for some time. I also really like that you are given 2 extra alternative versions to try- hibiscus lemon and orange clove, yum! The caramelized onion, olive and kale calzones look like a delicious, hearty veggie main dish.
The Late Summer section just keeps the amazing flavors of summer coming. After going for our traditional annual blueberry picking trip in August, I will be giving the blueberry cardamom chia pudding a try! And when my tomatoes finally ripen up, I will definitely be making up a big dish of the heirloom tomatoes with oil cured olives and crusty bread. The buckwheat crepes with creamy purple string bean slaw sounds perfect for my crop of purple beans coming into season as we speak.  The grilled peaches with blackberry sauce will be an amazing way to use the multitude of berries my little boys bring home to their Mama.
Then we are on to the Autumn section where we come into more hearty fare, such as a warm spinach, bacon and egg salad for breakfast . I am intrigued by the 10-spice chocolate chili for a fall dinner idea. The chai spice upside down plum cake will be a most comforting dessert.
The Winter section follows suit with comforting vegetarian based dishes such as chunky banana bread granola and a delicious looking cranberry carrot loaf. I look forward to have a big stockpot of the four corners lentil soup simmering away in my stove top this winter. The salt 'n' pepper chocolate chip cookies just have to be made to at least try once!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review and it has been the perfect summer addition to my cookbook collection! I cannot wait to try out so many of these recipes.

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